Parrasch Heijnen (Los Angeles) and Franklin Parrasch Gallery (New York) are pleased to present a cross-generational conversation of work by Maysha Mohamedi (b. 1980, Los Angeles) and John Wesley (b. 1928, Los Angeles) at Independent New York 2021. In this presentation the galleries explore the artists’ mutual interest in color, repetition and visual rhythm, across figuration and abstraction alike.
Elements and forms within their respective work shift and adapt, reappearing as analogous moments within each piece. Clear graphic, handmade lines divide shape and color as compositional rigor, while each artist utilizes a self-referential palette, memorializing particular hues.
Maysha Mohamedi’s paintings reflect a fine balance between control and freedom, embracing the raw or imperfect in the variance of her fragmented marks. Energy flows from one piece to the next, the intensity of life translated in line and color. Using a fine tip brush, the artist frees the traditional sense of the line from contour, allowing its own breath to flourish. Thin lines float above a neutral ground or washes of color, giving a sense of weightlessness. The tracings inform their own evolution, allowing the imagery to develop and unfold with naturally occurring distinctions. The viewer’s perceptual understanding of the artist’s work is informed by how she inherently parses together past visual impressions.
With parallel attention to the line and its power of division and containment, John Wesley defines figures in surreal, flat representations. The lack of gravity in his painting relays an illusionistically humorous composition. His works straddle two dimensions which, similar to Mohamedi’s work, can be perceived as 3D as the space within the plane recedes and expands with intentional pauses. Wesley treats figures and imagery as object and form that can be replicated and altered. In the artist’s historic 1974-5 work No More Excursion to Corsica, Wesley depicts serial imagery of a ship sinking into the blue where its identity changes with the varying color. The critic Ken Johnson wrote in Art in America regarding Wesley’s work that it is “as though the clichés of popular culture had been dipped in the pool of the artist’s unconscious and come out soaked with private meanings, associations and feelings.”